Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.

By Luis J. Rodriguez | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE

"You don't have solo rights to anything anymore, not even your crazy life."

-- Letter to me from a Jewish teenager after a youth conference in 1972

A low, primered 1968 Impala idled in front of a beige-white, Spanish-style stucco house in a cleanly-lit section of San Gabriel. Music spilled out of open windows along with laughter and the talk of young people. A party! The car pulled into a spot near the house. Yo Yo and Hapo jumped out the front seat while Coyote clambered out of the back and looked around. The swirl of Santa Ana winds cooled the summer heat, clearing away the eye-burning smog which has smothered the valley for days. Chava stepped out from behind Coyote.

"Let's check out the borlote," he declared, and the four marched toward the pulsing beat.

They entered the front door without invitation and surveyed the scene. A row of girls sat around with beer cans and cigarettes in their hands. The intruders could not make out the handful of guys scattered among them; they looked cool, but not barrio.

Coyote eyed a pretty ruca by a coffee table topped with bowls of chips, salsa and onion dip. Yo Yo indicated he had to go to the head. Chava and Hapo shuffled through the kitchen and out the back door; outside, a few people danced near a carport lined with trash cans brimming with ice and beer.

Sangra Rifa!" Hapo yelled, by impulse really, perhaps thinking it will keep the dudes at a distance. Chava looked annoyed at him, but it was too late.

Eight dudes stepped out of the darkness beneath the carport. Chava immediately recognized them: Eight Ball, Fuzzy, Enano, Topo, Lencho, Toots, Bone and Puppet -- from the Hills!

-210-

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Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface 3
  • Chapter One 13
  • Chapter Two 35
  • Chapter Three 55
  • Chapter Four 80
  • Chapter Five 108
  • Chapter Six 132
  • Chapter Seven 160
  • Chapter Eight 189
  • Chapter Nine 210
  • Chapter Ten 235
  • Epilogue 247
  • Glossary 253
  • Other Latino Titles Available from Curbstone Press 263
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